Innovator: Peter Barber & Brian McCaskey, Two Dudes Painting Company
What started as two college students looking to earn some extra cash has become one of the most innovative painting companies and strongest local brands in Lancaster. How they got here? For Peter Barber and Brian McCaskey, it’s been quite a ride.
In 1987, Barber explains that he was facing the challenge of his then-girlfriend’s unexpected pregnancy. Looking to earn some money on the side, he started his family and began the company Two Dudes, offering painting services to locals. He partnered with Brian McCaskey, and in the years that the company has been open, its grown to over 60+ employees, and an extremely impressive roster of projects. (For those who are local, Two Dudes was responsible for painting the Griest Building, as well as other major projects like the expansion of Lancaster Labs, the Hotel Lancaster and 101NQ.)
However, perhaps most impressively of all is that the company is B-Corp Certified, which means that they adhere to rigorous standards for social and environmental performance, as well as transparency and accountability. “Think of what Fair Trade is to coffee or USDA Organic is to milk or vegetables, but rather than just certifying the end product, it certifies the entire behavior and performance of the business,” Barber explains. “It is about using business as a force for good.”
He went onto say that the team decided to pursue the certification to demonstrate that they are not only striving to be the best painting company possible, but that they are also trying to be “a world-class organization in how we run and structure every piece of our operation. As for their customers, their greatest aspiration is that they are beyond thrilled with the craftsmanship of their work. “We also want them to understand and appreciate the commitment and connections that we make within the local community and potentially inspire them to do much of the same,” Barber said.
Ultimately, what’s been most exciting is watching a small dream turn into such an incredible operation. What started with just the two of us, now includes a workforce of over 60 people,” Barber explained. “By providing more solid jobs, we impact the lives of even more employees and their families. This helps our community become stronger and more vibrant. We see the impacts daily in the public art we go past on the streets, the homes and businesses we have helped to preserve and maintain, the individual and their families who have committed to be part of our organization. All of these thing provide fulfillment and inspiration to keep working hard and achieve the highest levels of success possible.